The Coronavirus is thought to have emerged in one of the wet markets of Wuhan, China. Much of what went on in these markets was never fully legal. Indeed this $13 billion a year trade has often operated in the grey areas of the law.
However, it has become clear that these are actually rather dangerous. It is one thing to enter a wild area to see the animals that live there. However it is something quite different to go in and kill animals to eat. These wild areas often harbour odd viruses or bacteria and by taking animals alive or dead out of these ecosystems you bring out these threats so that we can contract the illness.
At the beginning of January an new agreement was signed by 50 countries who pledged to protect 30% of the earths land and oceans. The intention of this agreement is to stem the flow of extinctions that human activity has been causing for the last few centuries.
The hope is that this agreement can form the basis of a larger agreement at the UN, building on the early commitments from nations such as Nigeria Pakistan Costa Rica Canada and many more.
Roads help connect our world, however without carefully thought through plans a road can split one endangered but viable population of a species into 2 unconnected populations that are likely to disappear over the long term.
Genetic studies have shown that only one bear has managed to cross between these two Spanish bear populations. While there are only 3 major roads, there are plenty of large areas unfriendly to bears crossing through. What should put this in context, is that one bear has also managed to cross France unaided to join this population.
Sea grasses once carpeted much of the worlds oceans at depths that suit them. In many places such as the UK destructive fishing practices have been allowed, such as bottom sea dragging. This has also severely damaged the UK cold water coral reefs, but that is a story for another day.
This latest information, may well give us a reason to replant them (aside from the benefits to biodiversity and the huge amount of carbon they take up).
Over the last few years it has become increasingly clear that conservationists approach to fossil fuel companies were not working.
The problem is that there is a great deal of money to be made from fossil fuels. Companies like tesla hint at a world where this ceases to be the case, and the speed that the electric car market is growing, is incredibly fast. Indeed many people have commented on the fact that the growth curve of electric cars is clearly following the curve of many other disruptions from computers to mobile phones.
In many parts of the world, conservation is an afterthought. After looking after your human population, if there is any money left then alright do conservation but not before. However, this does not work. There are many positive benefits of wildlife , and if these are not allowed to thrive it will damage the local people – by thinking of this last you end up damaging the local people.
Countries such as Rwanda are also heavily dependent on the money that tourism brings to their country.
This new aim, is to grow the economy and improve the lives of Rwandans while at the same time protecting the natural environment and keep as much forest standing as is possible.
Currently, Rwanda gets 15.1% percent of GDP from tourism, however back in the year 2000, this was just 4.7%. That gives an annual growth of this sector at more than 7%, far above all other areas. #
Importantly, tourism is a great leveller. Anyone who lives around wilderness can set up their own business. As a result, this can be a way to lift poorly served communities out of poverty.
I hope in the future that this site can assist in that process.
Between 2015 and 2019 30 tonnes of ivory and 167 tonnes of pangolin scales were seized. This equates to roughly 4400 elephants dead, and 167,000 pangolins. As in other places, the illegal wildlife trade tends to bring in crime, with the same gangs handling humans drugs minerals and weapons..
While increasing amounts of land is given to wildlife in southern Africa and the lion population grows, unfortunately in east and central Africa the opposite is happening.
Unfortunately in west and central Africa, the lions (many of these lions are orphaned relict populations of the Asiatic lion, and therefore highly important) tend to live in fragmented and small groups cut off from others of their kind. If humans can reconnect these populations then the dramatic decline that is expected in this region, could be halted.